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By Alice Osi

Local elite and business owner, Mr Johnson Rayaprum who frequently travels the Aitape-Vanimo section of the Sepik Coastal Highway has urged fellow drivers and car owners to take extra care of their vehicles and have tools, food and water when traveling the highway.

Mr Rayaprum said this when travelling the highway and saw parts of the road deteriorating.

Last week he managed to cross Rainprum (Bliri river) but not at the normal crossing area where cars usually cross.

“I went downstream to at least 200m and cross over to the other side and then had to follow the river up again,” Rayaprum said.

Rayaprum said from the normal crossing area from the Aitape side was impassable. The river floods and eroded part of the bank which had a cross fall steepness of at least one metre. 

‘We can do some work to achieve certain gradient for the vehicle to use but the water level is still high”.

Mr Rayaprum urged all drivers and vehicle owners to check the river bed because most sections of the river are sandy, and they have to check well before crossing.

“Carefully, your vehicle doesn’t get stuck in the river, the under current is high, it may do major damage to the vehicle.

“I’d advise all drivers to make good assessment before crossing,” Rayaprum said.

Meanwhile, some members from the Aitape Police have spent more than 3 nights and days along the highway when their vehicle broke down on their way to Vanimo.

A call out has been made to various business owners, travelling public and vehicle owners to assist the local police with food rations.

Rayaprum said the Poko to Basu section of the highway is heavily deteriorating and has asked if the government can intervene as soon as possible to maintain the road.

An attempt made by this newsroom to get comments from the office of the West Sepik Provincial member regarding the fast deteriorating road has been unsuccessful.

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